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Ministry Health Care & Froedtert Health seek co-ownership of health plan


UNDATED (WSAU) -- Two medical groups are considering a co-ownership and expansion of a Wisconsin based health insurance provider. Network Health is owned by Ministry Health Care. Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Desien says talks are underway with Froedtert Health which would allow the insurance provider to grow in that part of the state.  “If we are successful in completing the negotiations, it will mean that we will expand Network Health into southeast Wisconsin.”

Desien says if successful, the partnership would allow Network Health to serve both Ministry and the Integrated Health Network facilities including Froedtert Hospital, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Columbia St. Mary’s, Agnesian HealthCare.

Even though the deal isn’t done, Desien says both parties felt it was important to let their communities know what is happening.  “It will be a co-ownership between us and Froedtert, of the plan. It’s still in negotiations but we thought it was important to get the message out about it within the communities and our employees at Network Health.”

The proposed deal would allow Froedtert to buy into Network Health, and it would allow Network Health to grow in the southeastern Wisconsin market. Desien says growing will also help them to take part in the Affordable Health Care Act exchanges at some point.  “At the end of the day, our goal is to be on the exchange with Network, and having the size and scale to whether the challenges associated with that is pretty important. There’s a lot of risk in the exchanges and you want to be large enough that you can handle those risks and be able to succeed.”

Desien says they have not set a date to complete the partnership.  “No, we haven’t set a definitive time line. We’re actively negotiating now. If we’re successful with the negotiations, then we’ll have reached a definitive agreement and we’ll have some other announcements after that.”